The Pros and Cons of Obamacare
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, was signed into law in 2010.
The act aimed to provide affordable health insurance coverage for all Americans. The ACA was also designed to protect consumers from insurance company tactics that might drive up patient costs or restrict care.
Millions of Americans have benefitted by receiving insurance coverage through the ACA. Many of these people were unemployed or had low-paying jobs. Some couldn’t work because of a disability or family obligations. Others couldn’t get decent health insurance
More Americans have health insurance
More than 16 million Americans obtained health insurance coverage within the first five years of the ACA. Young adults make up a large percentage of these newly insured people.
Health insurance is more affordable for many people
Insurance companies must now spend at least 80 percent of insurance premiums on medical care and improvements. The ACA also aims to prevent insurers from making unreasonable rate increases.
Insurance coverage isn’t free by any means, but people now have a wider range of coverage options.
People with preexisting health conditions can no longer be denied coverage
A preexisting condition, such as cancer, made it difficult for many people to get health
insurance before the ACA. Most insurance companies wouldn’t cover treatment for these conditions. They said this was because the illness or injury occurred before you were covered by their plans.
Under the ACA, you can’t be denied coverage because of a preexisting health problem.
No time limits exist on care
Before the ACA, some people with chronic health problems ran out of insurance coverage. Insurance companies set limits on the amount of money they would spend on an individual consumer.
Insurance companies can no longer maintain a preset dollar limit on the coverage they provide their customers.
More screenings are covered
The ACA covers many screenings and preventive services. These usually have low copays or deductibles. The hope is that if you’re proactive in your healthcare, you can avoid or delay major health problems later.
Healthier consumers will lead to lower costs over time. For example, a diabetes screening and early treatment may help prevent costly and debilitating treatment later.
“The ACA is going to help all Americans have higher quality and less costly healthcare in the decades to come,” says Dr. Christopher Lillis, an internist in Virginia and a member of Doctors for America.
Prescription drugs cost less
The ACA promised to make prescription drugs more affordable. Many people, particularly senior citizens, are unable to afford all their medications. The number of prescription and generic drugs covered by the ACA is growing every year.
According to a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services press release from 2017, Medicare beneficiaries have saved over $26.8 billion on prescription drugs under Obamacare.
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The ACA website also has sections devoted to explaining the procedures and available options.
Business with 50 or more full-time employees must offer insurance or make payments to cover healthcare expenses for employees.
The ACA is subject to changes every year. The legislation can be amended, and budget decisions can affect how it’s implemented.